By Michael Campbell – News Editor
PRINCE GEORGE – Supervisors approved modifying the county’s code to reflect changes made to the state’s law on tax exemptions for disabled service members, allowing for property improvements to also be exempt from taxes.
According to county documents, the law on county books since 2011 allowed for the real property, including the joint real property of a husband and wife, of any veteran who had a service-related permanent disability who lives at their “principal place of residence shall be exempt from taxation without regard for total combined income or net worth” for the residence and land “in an amount not to exceed five acres on which it is situated.”
The surviving spouse of the eligible veteran would also be qualified for the tax exemption as along as the veteran died on or after Jan. 1, 2011, the surviving spouse does not remarry and they stay at the residence subject to the exemption.
A new passage has been added to the county code that is in line with an addition made by the General Assembly in Richmond during their session earlier this year, which notes, “A real property improvement other than a dwelling, attached to such five acres shall also be exempt from taxation so long as the principal use of the improvement is to house or cover motor vehicles or household goods and personal effects and for other than a business purpose.”
Virginians voted the Virginia Property Tax Exemption for Veterans in November of 2010 as a constitutional question, with over 82 percent of people voting in favor of the measure.
It was then signed into law by, then governor, Bob McDonnell and took effect in Jan of 2011 as part of a series of pieces of legislation that sought to improve services for veterans and their families in the commonwealth.
With the amendment’s unanimous adoption by supervisors, the ordinance will take effect for tax years beginning on or after Jul. 1, 2017.
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